Travel Guilt And How To Offset Your Carbon Emissions

August 9, 2019

I’ve been having a real internal battle recently over travel and it’s environmental impact. One of the many reasons I started our green living journey is because I want the World to still be here to explore. But it is no secret that travel has a heavy environmental footprint, particularly if you’re travelling by air. And there lies the dilema! It’s estimated that a long-haul flight from London to New York generates around 986kg of CO2 per passenger – more than an average person creates in a year in some countries. Those figures are crazy!

But travel can be such an enriching experience giving you the opportunity to gain new perspectives, learn about others cultures, other people and yourself. It’s something that I’m passionate about and isn’t something that I want to give up, despite the new found guilt I have over it. Having taken one return flight already this year I decided to spend some time looking into what I and you can do to help reduce a travel carbon footprint if you are feeling the guilt like me.  

If you’re planning your next adventure but want to reduce your carbon footprint – Here’s 6 ways to minimise your impact.

Buy local and seasonal or grow your own!

Buying food that’s local and in season is a great way to reduce carbon emissions as it prevents unnecessary air miles. Or have a go at growing your own fruit and vegetables. I’m loving having an allotment. This is just some of the fruit and vegetables I managed to gather at the weekend from our plot. If you have the space you can plant fast growing evergreen trees. Trees eat Co2 for breakfast!

Quit Fast Fashion

As a former fast fashion addict 9 months into a fast fashion ban, I’m telling you it can be done! Fast fashion is wasteful creating a massive negative impact on it’s creation before often ending up in landfill. 

Drive less

Not only is it better for you, but it’s estimated that reducing the miles on a regular car from 15,000 to 10,000 a year will save more than a tonne of CO2 – which is about 15% of an average person’s carbon footprint. Walk, bike and use public transport more. Or if driving is a necessity, think about opting for an electric car or looking into car shares. 

Leave only footprints

Travel consciously! Bring your reusables, pack lighter and think about your impact whilst you are away. 

Travel in a different way

This is something I will be looking into more going forward. With flying being the worst offender is there another way you can reach your desired destination? With buses and trains coming out above a car it’s time to think of changing our go to travel habits. 

Offest your carbon emissions

You can do this quickly and easily. First figure out your carbon emissions caused by your trip. All you need to know is the airports flown from and too. I’ve put the calculator I use at the bottom of this post. Then you choose your offset scheme.

You can decide on purely environmental projects or ones that have both environmental and social angles. Carbon Footprint  has varying price amounts and projects to chose from including clean drinking water programs, funding wind farms and reforestation.

I have also previously made a donation to the Woodland Trust. From your donation they plant trees and protect woodland across the UK, locking up carbon and creating havens of green space for wildlife and people.

Going forward I am looking into creating our own family grove of trees through Trees for Life, based in the Scottish Highlands. Somewhere that already holds a special place in my heart. I love the idea that we could create something long lasting.  

Of course no traveling is the best option but by doing the above I feel it is better than doing nothing. It’s about taking small steps and educating ourselves further.

 

One response to “Travel Guilt And How To Offset Your Carbon Emissions”

  1. Jules says:

    We are yet to travel abroad since having children, but I’ve been thinking about ways that we can avoid flying, as it is so bad for the environment. I get seasick but I think I might try to take a ferry and car for our first family adventure abroad! I’m also thinking about turning part of our garden into a vegetable patch, but it’s not very big!

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